Chia Seed Pudding is a great way to increase your omega 3 and fiber intake while providing a good source of protein. This recipe provides 10 or 13 grams of protein per serving and uses regular milk. Click here if you are looking for the dairy free version that provides 8-9 grams of protein per serving.
One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber – mostly soluble. In fact more than 80% of the CHO in chia is fiber.
Have you cooked with chia seeds yet?
Chia seed pudding has become a favorite in our house. It’s quick, and has only a few ingredients.
If you are making it for breakfast, it is made the night before – a bonus for those of you not morning people – like me!
It also makes a great snack or dessert.
Chia seed pudding is a great template for all kinds of delicious, nutritious toppings. Hazelnuts and berries or mango are my favorite but bananas, peaches, pecans and walnuts are all yummy. Plus you can sprinkle with spices – cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg.
Your sweetener can also add flavor. We like dark maple syrup, but honey or molasses would also be great.
Chia seeds have texture – similar to tapioca, but they are smaller and there is more of them.
Why cook with chia seeds?
As much as we know fish is good for us, we do not always eat two fatty fish meals a week. Chia is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. Unlike flax seeds which need to be ground in order for the omega 3 fatty acids to be absorbed, when chia is soaked, the omega 3 fats are able to be absorbed.
In addition they are a good source of soluble fiber and a plant source of complete protein.
Chia pudding is gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free, and it can easily be made dairy free.
Milk – whole, 2%, 1% or skim (we usually use 2%)
Chia seeds – white or black – Both confer identical benefits and taste the same, so use whatever your grocery store carries.
Sweetener – we use dark maple syrup but honey or agave should both work fine. You will vary the amount of sweetener to your taste. Start with one tablespoon per cup of milk.
Vanilla extact – optional but yummy! You can also sprinkle your individual serving with cinnamon, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, etc etc
Toppings – we like to top with chopped nuts. If your family can eat nuts I recommend them at least at first. Chewing the nuts seems to make the texture from the chia seeds less noticeable. Chopped hazelnuts are our favorite but pecans are a close second! We also like chopped fruit – mangos & berries are our favorites but bananas and peaches are also yummy. If I am in a hurry I just grab some chopped hazelnuts & eat!
This recipe requires no cooking. Upon mixing with milk, the fiber in the chia seeds swells to form a gel – a pudding like consistency. The only trick is to stir it several times in the first 10 – 15 minutes so it does not clump. Then let it sit for several hours or overnight.
We like to make it in the evening so it is ready for breakfast in the morning. It keeps for about a week in your refrigerator.
Increasing the Protein
There are 10 grams of protein in this chia pudding per serving. If you want to increase the protein further, you can add a one-ingredient protein powder. I like both the almond and peanut butter protein powders. See the second recipe below for the one with added protein powder.
Because we are careful of hydrolyzed protein in our house (migraines), we do not use many protein powders. But I was SO excited to find both a peanut and an almond protein powder both with ONE ingredient – almonds or peanuts.
In order to increase the protein in almond or peanut flour, the oil is first pressed out of the peanuts or almonds. Then the remaining solids are ground in to a very fine powder. The almonds or peanut powder will add 5 or 5.5 grams of protein per serving.
Because the protein powder adds body to the milk, fewer chia seeds are required to make chia pudding. Thus the omega 3s and the fiber will be lower in the resulting protein chia pudding. The net protein added only ends up to add 3 grams per serving because of the protein lost from using fewer chia seeds. So the second recipe (below) contains 13 grams of fiber per serving.
The texture of protein chia pudding with nut powder is slightly different than regular chia seed pudding. It has more body and is dryer. My husband says it is chalky but one of my tasters said that the almond powder with almond milk was his favorite of all the chia seed puddings.
So to add more protein, you will lose something in the texture of the pudding. But it is still an excellent breakfast or snack choice.
In my house we opt for 2% milk, 10 grams of protein, more omega 3s and more fiber. Let me know what version your family prefers!
Chia Seed Pudding
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine milk, chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir well.
- Stir every 5 minutes three or four times.
- Stir after 1 hour.
- Eat or let sit overnight.
Protein Chia Pudding
- 2 cups milk *
- ⅓ cup almond protein powder **
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Place the milk into a 4 cup measuring cup or bowl. Add the protein powder and whisk to combine.
- Add the chia and mix well.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla and mix.
- Stir every 5 minutes, three or four times.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Top with fruit, nuts, spices or a combination and enjoy!
- * Use whatever milk you prefer - whole, 2%, 1% or skim. The nutrient analysis was done with skim milk.
- ** Use whatever protein powder you prefer. Use the amount to add 20-25 grams of protein.